A Travellerspoint blog

Day 186 - Colfax & Antiques (Photo's Added)

We drove out Hwy 174 to Colfax to visit some haunts from the 1950's, splurged on some antiques, ice cream and Apple Annies

sunny 69 °F

Before we left the RV Campground at Nevada County Fairgrounds (in Grass Valley, CA - the name does confuse folks sometimes), Mom spotted a small Western Bluebird while I was getting the Propane filled. Since her camera is still MIA, she borrowed mine and got a pretty good shot of the little fellow.

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My plan for today was to drive up Hwy 174 from Grass Valley to Colfax. Colfax is a very small town in eastern California right off of I-80. Grass Valley and Nevada City are two small towns about 25 miles north of I-80 along Hwy 49 - in the heart of CA's gold country. Hwy 174 makes a small triangle between GV and Colfax, about 14 miles long?

My parents lived in this area twice, the first time from 1955 to 1959 on Hwy 174, aka the Colfax Highway. Mom seemed to have a lot of memories of this area and I thought she might enjoy seeing some of her old haunts again. Sure enough, she was able to locate the house they'd lived in 50 years ago and it was still standing. They paid $9,000 for this in 1955, Mom say's this didn't have as many tree's around it then.

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Mom also seemed to enjoy remembering various other sights along the drive, places they'd shopped or where friends had lived. A little farther up the road we crossed a bridge over the Bear River. Just before the bridge was a sign indicating there was a historic marker. We turned off to find that when they built the new bridge in the 1980's, they'd saved the old bridge also (citizen's initiative I think). Maybe the bridge had some sort of historic significance for others, but for Mom - it was something she remembered driving over in the 1950's.

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The river is dammed up just above this, but still had a lot of water. This time of year the state is probably releasing water to make room for snow melt, but Mom doesn't remember the river ever being this full.

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A little later, just before we got to Colfax, Mom spotted another place she remembered. This house actually used to be a Wimpy's hamburger restaurant in the 1950's. Mom and Dad actually took us there several times (Dad wasn't normally one to spring for dining out, even at a hamburger joint, so this would have been a major event for our family). They had a juke box where Mom liked to play 'Autumn Leaves' by Roger Williams (Mom & Dad were never into popular music, this is about as close as they came).

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Just around the corner from the old Wimpy's (now somebody's home) is Colfax. I thought it would be fun to stop in at an Ice Cream store I remembered from a couple of years ago, but since it's the 'off' season, the Ice Cream store was still closed when we got there about noon. To kill a little time, we meandered on over to an Antique Store a couple of doors down.

Yes folks, it's probably better if I stay out of Antique stores! Probably doubled my already extensive collection of 45rpm records in one fell swoop. I kept offering about 1/2 the marked price on a few items, they kept accepting so I bought (a few things anyway. Maybe it's the off season, not sure why they'd sell for such lowball prices?) Don't cringe, but I also picked up an old accordian and have been having fun trying to figure out the buttons (hmm). Anyway, I wasn't really intending to buy a lot of antiques, but I figure at those prices I could probably sell the stuff again if I get short and not much risk of loosing money. Of course, figuring out a way to carry it all home in the RV may be a challenge.

By the time I finished loading up all the junk I'd bought at the antique store, it was almost time for the Ice Cream store to open, so Mom decided to sit and wait for a few minutes by 'Calamity Jane'. The weather has also been great - 69 F today and clear & sunny. Just outside the Ice Cream store were some planters - quite a surprise to see both Daffidols and Iris blooming so early, and both at the same time.

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We finally had our ice cream and headed back down to Nevada City where I had made reservations at an RV campground. On the way we decided to stop at Apple Annies - a family owned restaurant where they grow their own apples as well as cook all kinds of good stuff. The garnish on our plates was a slice of Arkansas Black apple - never heard of it before but it was quite good. We also both ordered Apple Cider, but we were too full for dessert (having already had ice cream). So instead we bought an Apple Pie to take to my brother's house.

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We had miscalculated the dates, both my brother and his wife work tomorrow so we decided there is no reason to try to get to their place tonight. I also wanted to visit Sutters Mill, so now we have time to do that before heading up to my brothers place.

We are staying in Harmony Ridge RV Campground tonight. It's the off season, so the swimming pool is quite cold - but the Hot Tub was warm and appeared to be working, so we indulged for awhile. Life is just rough - what can I say?

ps - HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIKE!

Logistics:

Miles Driven - 37 (RT), Cumulative - 17,917
Camped at Harmony Ridge RV Campground (ROD)

Provisions: Propane $11.21 for abt 3 gallons
Lunch at Apple Annies
Ice Cream in Colfax

Junk (7 boxes of 45 rpm records, early 1900's accordian, mantle clock, teapot)

Posted by jl98584 21:16 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (1)

Day 185 - Sutters Fort (Photo's Added)

We met a friend, Pam, and toured Sutters Fort and the CA State Indian Museum

sunny 70 °F

Before we left the RV campground this morning, I was able to get a few more bird pictures. Since we were on the Sacramento River Delta, there were lots and lots of birds - but I figure a couple of shots should be enough to show you how big the flock of snow geese flock was (thumbnail alert - click to enlarge).

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We also saw this Western Meadowlark - a really cool bird. (The rest of the birds we saw refused to sit still for the camera, so have missed their opportunity for fame and glory in the blog.)

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This morning, Mom & I went to visit Pam, a friend from when Mom & Dad lived in Nevada City. We had a nice visit and sampled an apricot pie she'd baked. When we mentioned that we planned to visit Sutter's Fort in the afternoon, Pam said she'd like to join us for that - so the three of us piled into her car and drove to downtown Sacramento.

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Today, a school group was having a special program at Sutters Fort. All the kids from that school were dressed in period costumes and taking part in various activities to learn about pioneer life. Many of the parents and teachers were also participating in period dress. They had attended workshops to learn specific pioneer skills and were using them in the Fort. The group will stay overnight (at least the kids & dad's, not sure who else). We met one of the dad's outside the main gate, who was kind enough to pose with Mom & I.

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Here's another view of the main gate, but from inside the Fort. Again, with some reenactors from the school group.

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The Fort was still open for general tourists and other school groups, but it was really fun to have all these extra reenactor's running around in costume and acting like pioneers! This made the place really come alive (even if many of the pioneers were pint sized).

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Just after we entered the gate, there were a couple of rooms set up with informative displays about John Sutter and the history of his Fort. John (Johann Augustus) Sutter was born in Baden, Germany in 1803. Baden is near the Swiss border and Sutter considered himself a Swiss. He left Europe in 1834 and spent some years travelling and exploring before finally setting up his colony in today's Sacramento in 1839. He called his settlement "New Helvetia" (New Switzerland). At the time he arrived in California in 1839, there were only about 1,000 Europeans and 30,000 Native American's living there. The Mexican Governor, Juan Bautista Alvarado gave him permission to settle in what is now the Sacramento area, then made this a formal land grant of about 48,000 acres after Sutter became a Mexican citizen in 1840. He was also given an additional grant of about 144,000 acres by a different Mexican governor in 1845, but lost this in an 1858 US Supreme Court decision after being sued by squatters.

Sutter employed the local Native American's, as opposed to enslaving them as we'd seen happen along the east coast. He actually built a fairly extensive and successful community. He employed carpenters, blacksmiths, coopers and whatever other farmers or craftsmen/women were needed for a successful community. Much of the reconstructed fort's rooms contain living history type shops. Here are some examples of how they are set up (some others had folks actually working in them!)

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While there were quite a few structures and residences at New Helvetia, only the adobe Fort has been reconstructed. It was actually a Fort and contained defensive "Bastion" corner sections with cannon, 2.5' thick walls, and a weapons room to store the rifles and ammunition.

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They also have a room set up as Sutter lived in it and another as a workman's quarters (not everyone had beds in 1846).

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A number of people were cooking using 1846 style equipment and techniques. The school group would actually be eating dinner from their efforts!

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One thing I hadn't been clear about was that Sutter's Fort is not where gold was discovered. Sutter needed lumber for his growing enterprise and joined a partnership with James Marshall to build a lumber mill in the foothills about 50 miles east of the Sacramento area on the south fork of the American River. That is where the gold was discovered (and we visited it a couple of days later). The sad thing is that once the news got out, most of Sutters workers abandoned his fields and shops for the gold fields. Squatters and minors overran most of his holdings, cheated him and left him with little to show for having settled northern California. The Gold Rush did not leave a positive legacy for Sutter or the Fort that helped many early settler's survive in California.

After touring Sutters Fort, we also went through the State Indian Museum, which was right next door. I was able to get a couple of pictures of the general area, but the Museum doesn't allow photography inside. It was pretty good if you ever get a chance to visit it.

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Pam treated us to lunch at a nice place near the Fort, then Mom & I got back in the RV and headed east again, bit of a story there but we ended up staying in the Nevada County Fairgrounds which has RV camping at the far end. (Another unscheduled route change?) We had a pretty nice night there - but a friendly rooster took a liking to us and made sure he fulfilled his rooster duties very early in the morning!

Logistics:

Miles Driven - 120, Cumulative - 17,880
Camped at Nevada County Fairgrounds for $24

Provisions - $26.70 for 7.718 gallons at 127,721

Posted by jl98584 20:55 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

Day 184 - Marin & Sonoma (Photo's Added)

Another Frank Lloyd Write masterpiece, then lovely wine country for a bit, and more birds.

sunny 68 °F

Woke up this morning, the weather is just to die for! But the pollen is also way off the charts (may even be worse than San Antonio, if that's possible?)

I stopped by the Marin County Courthouse to take care of a couple emails since there hadn't been any internet signal at the campground - how did I ever get through life without email? Unfortunately, it is only open for tours on Wednesdays at 10:30 AM - so maybe we'll come back this way after visiting my brother...

For those of you in an architectural fog, the Marin County Courthouse was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright (FLW) and is to blame for my closet obsession with his work. I remember seeing it as a kid and just falling in love with it...

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While I worked on email and admired the FLW architecture, Mom found some friends on the nearby pond...

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I also made reservations in a nice campground (membership type, so no $$ outflow) - we've been staying in lovely state parks so long and they're great, but we really need to do some Laundry & Vacuum!

So we had a few hours to kill (can't check in too early), and I thought it would be nice to drive up to the Napa/Sonoma area. I'd grown up in the SF Bay area, but don't remember ever visiting Napa or Sonoma. Mom graduated from High School in Petaluma, her Aunt Evelyn lived in Glen Ellen, and Mom also lived in Sonoma for a time, so she enjoyed the drive.

On the way to Sonoma, we started passing through a lot of vineyards. I decided to stop at this one, the Jacuzzi Winery, since they advertised that they had olive tasting as well as wine tasting. Mom & I went into the Olive section first, but we should have read the sign more closely - it was olive oil tasting, not olives. That's OK for me, I like Olive Oil, but Mom doesn't. I think she enjoyed the building however and looking at all the neat, but expensive stuff in the gift shops.

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This is actually one of the newest wineries in Sonoma Valley, but they've built a really nice place. The courtyard is all done up as Spanish style early California, it was very nice and had Mexican music playing in the background.

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While I was out back admiring their vineyards, a Harrier flew by. Then, knowing it took me a while to set up the camera, he just kept circling and circling just above the vines - of course that's actually the way they hunt but I can pretend he did it for these shots?

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After spending a little more than I could afford on some wine and olive oil, we drove on into downtown Sonoma.

We got a TON of great ideas at the Sonoma Visiter's Center, but didn't have time to try them today - so maybe we'll head back here after visiting my brother, I'm not sure. We did eat at a really nice little shop, they sell pastries also so we picked some up for later.

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I also walked around the town square a bit and took some pictures of the old Mexican Army Barracks and Mission (didn't take the time to tour these today however). They also had a nice mural in one of the alley's (which are all full of shops by the way).

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We finally headed off towards the campground, which was quite far south still. On the way we passed a dairy that Mom actually remembered from when she was a kid. It was still in business and still had dairy cattle, but they now share space with grape vines!

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After crossing I-80 a little farther south, we drove through a giant wind farm - don't remember this sort of stuff when I was a kid?

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We finally found the campground. It is located along a levy in the Sacramento River Delta, about 20 feet below the surface of the river.

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We got the laundry done. Tomorrow we'll do some visiting of an old friend, then who knows. In the meantime, one advantage of staying around the Sacramento River Delta is the birding - we saw lots and lots of birds - some of which I've identified?

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(I'm working in a KOA clubhouse to get an internet signal, so don't have my travel log handy, will add the logistics later - not that anybody reads that. I just keep it since it's part of the whole Lewis & Clark style travel experience, to log our journey!)

Posted by jl98584 22:53 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

Day 183 - San Francisco with Sister (Photo's Added)

Yes, we actually drove through SF in my RV and survived! My sister, Que, was in SF for a medical conference, so we met her out by the beach, later drove across the Golden Gate Bridge.

sunny 65 °F

It was quite windy this morning when we got up at Half Moon Bay State Park, but of course that made for some big waves! I wanted to get my feet wet just a little bit, but the surf was so rough I tried to avoid going in any deeper then my toes. However while I was distracted taking a picture, I didn't notice a particularly large wave break and wash up almost to my knees - the water pulled so hard I wasn't sure if it would pull me over (I think if I'd lifted a foot to try to walk it would have, it was that strong) - but I stood fast and was able to get back, with somewhat damp jeans of course.

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While we've certainly met some nice folks here in CA, they haven't been as consistently nice as in most states we've been in. When I stopped for gas just outside the park, another customer started cussing at me for blocking his way (like I can just zip in or out at will in an RV!) Of course, it didn't help that Mom decided to chip in and help offer ways to get out of his way - of course, she won't drive the RV so has no idea what sort of turns I can or can't do. We had a bit of a moment there, but seem to have survived it. As far as Californian's go, I'm generally glad I don't live here any more.

While we also generally skip the big cities, my sister Que and her partner Vivian were in San Francisco for a medical conference. When we realized we were all in the same area at the same time, we thought it might be fun to try to meet up. (Que & Vivian live in Seattle, so we do get to see them fairly often - but of course we've been on the road for several months now). Que said she hadn't been to a beach in a long time and I figured the road along the beach would be as easy to navigate as any, so we agree to try to meet up along the SF beach.

Somehow, Mom & I managed to navigate there without going around in circles too much (one anyway) and found a parking spot right across from Golden Gate Park, within sight of the Cliff House and Seal Rocks. The Cliff House is not the same place I remember as a kid. They've built something new at the same spot that just doesn't look all that special to me, but I guess we don't all have the same tastes in building styles?

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We were also right across the street from one of the windmills at Golden Gate Park. There are two of these built in 1903 and they were actually used to water the landscaping in the park in the early 1900's. This one has been restored, the other is still undergoing restoration.

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BTW - SF still isn't charging for parking along the beach! There are still a few bright spots for visitors here. Que met us at the beach shortly after we got there. Que and Mom enjoyed a walk out to the beach (believe it or not, I was trying to work on the blog for a few minutes).

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A short time later, Vivian arrived and we somehow all managed to meet up without getting lost (cell phones come in handy in such situations).

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We were right across the street from an old San Francisco landmark, the Beach Chalet restaurant. It was built in 1925, but had recently been restored. Vivian generously offered to treat us all to lunch there!

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On the first floor are several murals that were painted in 1936 as part of the WPA program. I continue to be favorably impressed with all the public works generated by FDR's depression era programs to provide work for the unemployed. Also you will notice that I am not the only member of my family to have caught the photography bug!

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We had a great dinner, I tried taking a picture but didn't want to use a flash so as not to annoy the other diners. I should have used a flash. Well, close your eyes and imagine us sitting by a window overlooking the beach (the RV in plain view across the street, as well as the sea wall and beach) - enjoying all sorts of good eats...

After dinner, Que & Vivian had to go get ready for a show later in the evening. Mom & I enjoyed seeing SF again but figured there were better ways to tour the city than in an RV and I wanted to head north and find a campground before it got too dark. We drove on up the street and turned as it passed the cliff house. When we got to where we needed to turn to get to the Golden Gate Bridge, there was a "No Left Turn" sign as Vivian had warned us, so we just went around the block - in driving, three rights equals a left. I thought the houses looked pretty typical for San Francisco, so while we didn't do much sightseeing in town, I stopped for this shot as we rounded the block.

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In fairness to SF however, the streets and parking didn't seem nearly as bad as I'd expected (nor as bad as Boston or Philadelphia). We did get onto the correct street and onto and across the Golden Gate Bridge without a hitch. It was starting to get a little darker, but I pulled over at the vista point just across the bridge for some nice shots. It was surprising how many tourists there were at the vista point - almost no parking left. I guess March isn't a bad time of year for tourists to this area?

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By the time we left the vista point it was really dusk, so we drove up to San Rafael where Mom had found a state park on San Pablo Bay, a little east of town. The China Camp SP was really nice, but just over some low hills from the town - and had no cell phone signals, so no internet. Here we were in the middle of one of the most populated area's in one of the most populated states, and continue to find rural space with no connections! Amazing.

Logistics:

Miles Driven - 59, Cumulative - 17,673
Camped at China Camp State Park, San Rafael, CA

Provisions - Gas $36.59 for 10 gallons at 127,505

Posted by jl98584 22:41 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

Day 181-182 - Hwy 1 to Half Moon Bay (Photo's Added)

We drove North along the coast again as far as Watsonville Friday, including a pass around the 17 mile drive through Pebble Beach. Saturday, we stopped in Santa Cruz for errands, then on to Half Moon Bay

overcast 60 °F

Thought it might be fun to share what some of these state and national park campgrounds can look like - not very crowded this time of year unless you're near big cities. This is the Plaskett Creek Campground we stayed in last night, lovely place. Mom tried taking pictures of the blue jays, but she needs a more 'mom friendly' camera I'm afraid.

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We continued our drive up Hwy 1, the California Coast Highway again this morning - very beautiful, very rugged! It was foggy this morning, but you can still get some idea what our drive was like. I haven't been able to make very good time along Highway 1, it's only two lanes, lots of curves and cliffs and lots of hills - so I'm lucky to average 25 - 30 mph? Maybe slower, most cars like to take the road a lot faster then this of course, so I pull over a lot to let other cars by.

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There is a short stretch where Hwy 1 leaves the coast to go through Big Sur. As we came over a hill, all of a sudden it was sunny & warm! As soon as we left Big Sur however, it was foggy again. In fact, if you look closely you can see the fog spilling over the top of the far hill in this shot.

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We didn't spend very long in Big Sur, just a short trip though a gift shop, a few pic's and sun ray's. Just after going through Big Sur, Hwy 1 turns back to the coast just in time to see the Point Sur Lightstation. We had been warned that this is only open for guided tours and requires a lot of walking, so we just viewed it from the road.

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The Monterey area was about 24 miles farther and I was excited to get there as I'd lived there before (many, many years ago) and remembered it fondly. Hmm, I should know better then to try to go back in time, it just never quite works out. Actually, it probably would have been fine except when I lived there before - I wasn't driving an RV. The streets are quite narrow and hilly, so even a very small RV like mine isn't the most welcome vehicle on the road.

We skipped Carmel, but decided to take the famed "17 Mile Drive" through Pebble Beach. Hmm, I don't remember them charging to drive this before? (Guess I have been gone a long time). But I went ahead and forked over the big bucks (about $10 these days) and did the drive. There is a lot of beautiful and rugged coastal scenery close to the roadway in a fairly compact area, but I'm not sure it's any better than what we'd been driving through all week - but this is the only stretch anybody's charged us just to drive on it. (OK, I'll pull my fangs in a bit).

All of the 'sights' along this drive are very well marked, and there is enough room to pull over to enjoy them - even for a small RV, so at least it was easy to enjoy the drive. One of the most photographed 'sights' is a 250 year old Cypress tree called "The Lone Cypress"

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Just to the right of this is a crusty old dead tree they call the "Ghost Tree". Actually, there are several dead tree trunks in this area, but I think this is the one they were referring to?

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But mostly, I think the attraction of the drive is the rough, rocky surf. Perhaps it would be worth paying for if we hadn't just spent the past two weeks driving up the coast!

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Perhaps for some, another attraction on the drive is seeing the golf courses. We're not be golf fans or golfers, so for us these weren't such a big deal. I thought it was kind of a shame that they made the public feel so unwelcome with so many "Private Property - No Tresspassing signs every few feet. Perhaps they should at least set up a few overlooks of the famous golf courses (with signage about interesting factoids?), afterall we paid for the drive so maybe this should be part of the attractions?

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As we neared the end of the drive, I again turned my attention to more basic needs - gas. The price near Hearst Castle had been so outrageous (Price Gouging anyone?) that I had only bought enough gas to ensure we could make it to Monterey, so now we were definitely in need of another gas fix. There is one gas station near the end of the 17 mile drive, so again they have a captive audience and again, at a price gouging rate of $4.56/gallon (that's for Regular). So I bought one gallon, resolved to find something a little more reasonable.

It was late and I figured an RV wasn't the best vehicle to drive through Carmel, so I decided to take Hwy 68 to Pacific Grove. I'd remembered really liking the restaurants on Cannery Row, but as we got closer, I realized I was probably driving a much smaller car back then. Actually I was getting around OK, but the roads were quite small, there was a lot of traffic and we weren't seeing any parking for the most part, so instead of 'doing the town', we figured we'd had enough sightseeing for today and would just head north to a state park Mom had found near Watsonville.

I finally did find a gas station first however with somewhat more reasonably priced gas (if you can call it that), but I couldn't get into a pump - there were too many fast, nimble, small cars zipping around and there just wasn't enough room to manouver the RV to a spot I could fit. We gave up and drove on towards Hwy 1, figuring there would likely be stations near the highway. There was one, but again the cars could fit in much better then I. This hasn't usually been a problem, I suspect land in Monterey is kind of pricey and they just squeeze gas stations onto smaller lots than in most cities. Anyway, I just parked the rig in front of one of the rows of pumps and waited. Sure enough, eventually a space cleared up and I got to a pump - just as someone zipped in from the other side and blocked me! But, hold the press, he actually backed up a few feet so I could use the pump (a big contrast to our treatment at the next fillup in Half Moon Bay in a couple of days).

We drove north to Castroville and pulled off at an Artichoke stand. Castroville bills itself as the "Artichoke Center of the World". I don't know about that, but it does produce about 75% of the Artichokes sold in the U.S. and we did drive through a lot of acres of Artichokes. The fruitstand was pretty decent, we stocked up on some produce, but skipped the signature product since they are hard to cook in an RV (I don't want to use up all my propane boiling them and didn't think they'd last too well in the fridge until we got back to WA). But I did get a couple of pictures...

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Mom wanted to head to Sunset State Beach, a little farther north, but it was already getting dark and I saw a sign in Moss Landing for an RV park, so I turned off. The marina by the side of the road had something interesting in the water so I pulled over to take a look. It was almost too dark to get a good picture, but there were two sea otter's just floating around and around - looked like they were taking a nap, or at least a lounge break?

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We found the RV park and it was pretty nice, it also had lots of space and cost $60/night - so I agreed with Mom to try Sunset State Beach instead. This must be the flip side of the huge cost of land in CA - sooner or later everything else has to cost more also. The beach was just up the road a bit further, also had space and only cost us $23 for the night (without hookups of course), so that's where we crashed for the night. In the morning, we drove the road down the sand dunes to the beach.

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Of course, what's a beach without getting a little bit wet - even in the winter?

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We also saw a new bird (for us), a Marbled Godwit. I have a feeling I've probably seen lots of birds before, but knowing so little about the things - just call them by the wrong name. Well, we're learning - for example, not all birds that run around in the surf with skinny legs and beaks are sandpipers - this one's a godwit.

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As we drove away from the beach, I also snapped a couple shots of the coastal farmland and trees common in this area, as well as the entrance to a beachfront SDA Academy where my brother attended HS:

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We drove on to Santa Cruz, where I spent several hours parked in the Staples parking lot to work on finishing up the lease/option business for my dad's place. This is the reason I combined these two days into one blog entry, thinking there wouldn't be enough pic's to bother with a separate entry (too lazy to take pictures in SC once I'd finished up the contract business). However in hind sight, it probably would have been better to do separate entries. Next time?

So we headed up the coast thinking we'd just be heading north to a campground (hopefully at Half Moon Bay) and that would be it for the day. The coastal scenery along here was very pretty - in spite of a nasty side wind we had to fight the rest of the day.

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While the wind made it somewhat stressful to drive, others found the wind absolutely perfect! Just a few miles north of Santa Cruz, the kite boarders were out in force. There weren't as many wind surfers, but there were a few. I don't know how they avoided running into each other there were so many of them in the surf! (I have some video of this I'll try to post once the blog is caught up...)

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We also saw Pigeon Point Lighthouse. The lighthouse complex is open to the public, in fact you can even stay in some of the buildings which are now maintained as a Hostel. The 115' lighthouse tower is in very bad shape however and closed to climbing (of course, they're hoping the public will donate enough money to restore it). One building has also been set aside for exhibits about the coast in that area and history of the lighthouse. The surf was very, very rough here and there are a lot of rocks and fog along this stretch of coast, so it makes sense to put a lighthouse here. Although I couldn't climb the lighthouse, I did walk around quite a bit and really enjoyed the exhibits. Since we've already visited several lighthouses on this trip, I'll try to resist the urge to post all the info about the place, but will at least add that the First Order Fresnel Lens here has over 1,000 pieces to it.

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Finally, we actually did make it to Half Moon Bay. There is a state park there, but the sign said full. Fortunately I decided to ask anyway and the handicapped space was still available (it was the only one available). We haven't had any trouble finding camp sites along the coast until now - maybe the proximity to San Francisco, or maybe the wind (kiteboarders?). The wind continued throughout the evening and the surf was quite spectacular. The sunset was a well, so I bundled up and hustled over to the beach to take pictures. Mom wanted a pic of a seagull flying in front of the sun as it set. I didn't quite get that, but am quite content with the ones I got - hard to pic a favorite, so I uploaded a couple.

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Posted by jl98584 21:41 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (1)

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